Arrest made in shooting that left Katy nail salon owner injured over price dispute

Joana Vara (left) was arrested and charged with aggravated assault in connection to the shooting at a Katy nail salon. The suspect’s sister, Quetzali Vara, 20, was charged with evading arrest after deputies conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle she was driving earlier that day.
Joana Vara (left) was arrested and charged with aggravated assault in connection to the shooting at a Katy nail salon. The suspect’s sister, Quetzali Vara, 20, was charged with evading arrest after deputies conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle she was driving earlier that day. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – One of the two women has been charged in connection with a dispute at a nail salon in which an employee was shot on May 29.

Joana Vara, 21, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and has been booked in the Harris County Jail.

Authorities said the shooting happened at a nail salon located at 21945 Katy Freeway in far west Harris County. Deputies arrived at Katy Nails and found that the 42-year-old store owner had been shot by a woman who fled the scene.

Investigators said two women entered the nail salon and were given a manicure and pedicure. Investigators said both women were unhappy with the price of the services and were arguing with the owner. The suspect paid and left the store while the other woman continued to argue with the owner, according to deputies.

The suspect re-entered the store and started arguing with the owner, according to investigators. Investigators said when the owner attempted to push the woman out of the store, she shot him with a handgun.

Authorities said both women fled the scene in a burnt orange-colored Ford Fusion. The suspect’s phone was recovered from the nail salon, according to investigators.

The nail salon owner survived the shooting and at last check was in critical but stable condition.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said that Joana Vara is the suspected shooter.

The suspect’s sister, Quetzali Vara, 20, was charged with evading arrest after deputies conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle she was driving earlier that day. Her bond is set at $2,500.

Investigators said Quetzali Vara was not charged with the nail salon aggravated assault.

“Excellent work by our investigators,” Gonzalez tweeted, in part.


About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, social media news and local crime.